The advantage of having friends in the future became clear to Haydrift Eaglebeard as he flexed the fingers of his right hand.
He was sat in the library of Lord Stiletto, book collector and cosmic adventurer, and enjoying a very fine bottle of port. The rumour was that Stiletto had been given several cases of port by a grateful Napoleon Bonaparte after his help at the battle of Smolensk.
Sat across the exquisitely crafted table were his two good friends, Lord Stiletto and Gregory Cobblestone, now recovered after the installation of an artificial kidney, to replace the one destroyed in Cambridge.
Stiletto was laughing as he good-naturedly recalled the surprised look on Eaglebeard’s face as his hand came off and dropped to the polished wooden floor. The cut had been so fine and rapid that initially there had been no pain. That had come later.
“It’s the same hand,” Stiletto continued through mouthfuls of olives, “but we have modified it slightly. I think you will find it’s a good trade.”
Eaglebeard went back to flexing his restored fingers, which felt, and seemed to his amazed eyes, to be completely unchanged.
The rustle of silken skirts alerted the friends to the entrance of Lady Bane. Gregory nodded his thanks over the rim of his cut glass. It was her quick action and skill that had kept him alive whilst in twenty-first century Cambridge. The medical science of the future may be incredible, but they hadn’t yet mastered the fabled art of reversing Death itself.
“Ah,” thought the Boy from another dimension.
“What was that?” said Stiletto, always sensitive to the ambiguous.
“Just an old friend,” smiled Gregory, and passing a glass of port to Sarah, lifted his glass for the toast, “Friends.”